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Key details


  • 27 March 2024


  • RCA

Read time

  • 2 minutes

Professor Paul Anderson, Dean of the School of Design at the RCA, said: “It’s fantastic news that Dr Qian Sun will now be leading our Service Design programme. Qian’s expertise and passion for the subject combined with a very successful track record in research will continue to build on the international success and reputation of this programme within the School of Design as we all move forward into new future thinking, behaviour models and design resilience. I’m looking forward to working with Qian and our very talented team in Service Design as we continue to welcome inspiring cohorts of students and researchers to the programme."

Commenting on her appointment, Dr Sun said: “I’ve been with the Service Design programme since the first cohort over 11 years ago and I am delighted to continue developing together in my new role as Head of Programme. Service Design is a fast-evolving discipline and practice and our programme has experienced both continuous growth and renewal, evolving into a leader in the field. I am proud of all our students, colleagues and partners who have been such an important part of the journey so far. I look forward to continuing to evolve and develop this unique and pioneering programme in collaboration with this inspiring community.”

Dr Qian Sun

A Senior Tutor in Service Design since 2013, and currently Acting Head of Programme, Dr Sun brings over 20 years of experience in higher education in the UK. As a Reader in Service Design, Policy and Social Innovation, her research interests cover: service design, design thinking; design management; design policy; and across all sectors of industry, a specific interest in the role of design in trans-disciplinary innovation that addresses contemporary societal challenges in health and wellbeing, community, and sustainability.

Dr Sun has secured research funding and led research projects, and established partnerships nationally and internationally. Her current projects include: ‘Connecting Roots’ which uses design to support the scaling of green social prescribing services and ‘Nature’s Way’ which co-creates nature-based solutions to empower communities, organisations, and individuals to find natured based alternatives for healthcare and societal resilience following the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Dr Sun is a PhD supervisor, reviews papers and proposals for conferences, journals and funding, and is an active member of AHRC Review College as well as being an external examiner at Lancaster University, UAL, Loughborough University London.

Before joining the RCA in 2013, she had taken on roles including Programme Leader for a Design Management MA course, Research Fellow for a number of research projects, and Product Designer in agencies.

Professor Naren Barfield, RCA Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said of the appointment: “I’m delighted that Dr Qian Sun will be taking up the role of Head of Programme for Service Design on a permanent basis. Qian has been involved with the RCA’s Service Design programme since its first year and her vast experience and expertise has been pivotal to its continual growth, development and success. The programme empowers our students from diverse design and innovation backgrounds to answer the challenges of technological, social and environmental futures in commercial, social and public contexts and I very much look forward to the continued evolution under Qian’s leadership.”

Discover more about studying Service Design at the RCA

Service Design MA
Screenshot of four students from the MA Service Design film